Customer Retention Strategies: How to Keep Customers Coming Back For More

Smiling Female Shopping OnlineThink about your favorite services, companies, or brands. What keeps you going back for more?  Maybe it is their excellent prices, the extraordinary customer service, or maybe even the complimentary gifts that they give you as a returning customer.  Whatever it may be, your loyalty is essential for any business to sustain, grow, and develop; making customer retention strategies one of the most important aspects of marketing.

If you are a business looking for ways to retain or grow your consumer base, we are going to go over some useful customer retention strategies that will keep your clients and customers coming back for more.

Why Are Customers So Important?

We always hear that customers are the most important part of an organization; but why?   The success of a business will depend on its customers, and here are some reasons why they do:

  • The repeat business of customers is the backbone of selling.  Repetition helps provide dependable revenue and certainty for a business.
  • Organizations depend on their customers for survival.  If a business is unable to develop customer loyalty and satisfaction, they will lose their customers, and in turn fail to support their business.
  • Customers, especially ones who are loyal, are a business’s free marketing agent and brand ‘ambassador’ that will help a business build its brand.
  • Customers who enjoy your service are more inclined to share their positive experience and will make recommendations of a business to their friends.

The Three Types of Customers

To better help you find the proper tactics to satisfy your customer’s wants and needs, you can begin by sorting your customers into three categories:

  1. Satisfied customers:  A satisfied customer’s relationship to your business is acceptable.  Realize, however, that they are not fully intrigued or amazed by your business or service.  Because of this, they are susceptible to better offers from other competitors.
  2. Dissatisfied customers:  Dissatisfied customers believe that your business or service did not meet their expectations.  This could be a result of anything from poor service to what they feel to be a poor product.  Once a customer is dissatisfied, they will generally not return to you for service, and will usually not complain to your business.  However, they can hurt your business if they decide to share their dissatisfaction with others.
  3. Loyal customers:  These types of customers are the ones who are safe from defection.  A loyal customer will reduce the cost side of your profit and loss statement and benefit the revenue.

Now that you are aware of the types of customers your business can be confronted with, use the following customer retention strategies to help you turn as many satisfied and dissatisfied customers as possible into loyal customers.

Effective Customer Retention Strategies

Over Deliver:  It is important for a business to meet the needs of their customers, and one way to do this is to always over deliver.  Customers will be pleasantly surprised if a company takes it up a notch and over delivers.  You can do this by throwing in an extra product, a cool new feature, or a surprise gift.

Stand for something:  Make sure that your company or business stands for something.  Consumers will more likely gravitate towards a brand that they have shared values with.  Your first step as a brand is to determine what your values are so that you can develop a customer base to get your customers to care about you.

Social backing:  Customers are encouraged by other customers or people who have had experience with a brand.  Social proof, such as, “Join 60,000 of your fellow peers!” is an effective strategy for getting people to listen and believe that what you have to offer is good.

Inner ego:  This can go alongside with connecting with your customers.  People gravitate towards things that resemble them in some way.  This is called implicit egotism.  When you are communicating with your customers, identify your customer base and work to craft your brand message to match their personalities, goals, hopes, and needs.  Rather than fill a need, create one for your customers.

Choose your words:  There are certain words that consumers love to hear, such as: free, new, and instantly.  When customers hear these words they will be more likely to make purchases and stand behind a particular product or brand.

Embrace reciprocity:  Giving back to your customers does not have to be costly.  There are plenty of frugal ideas that you can use and that can be built on small gestures. No matter what you give back, customers enjoy the idea that you are considering them – and it is important to know that thought counts.

Art of surprise:  Reciprocity is great, but what is even more effective is the power of surprise.  Think about something nice someone did for you that surprised you.  Although the gesture might not have been unusual, a surprise will always leave a strong impression.  Consider surprising your customers with some sweet gestures.

Be personal:  Customers enjoy things that are personalized.  Personalized experiences are known to ignite feelings in customers that will help them enjoy their experiences much more.

Quality counts:  Speed is important, especially since everything seems to happen instantaneously these days.   However, when customer service is involved, research shows that quality matters more than speed.  Customers are more likely to be engaged with a brand or product when they feel that customer service is willing and helpful.

Choose platforms appropriately:  If you are interested in improving your customer service efforts to improve retention, utilize social channels such as email or social networking that you know your customers use as well.

Implement VIP programs:  People love being VIP members or Gold Members of a program.  By adding programs such as these, it will increase customer participation and make them feel a part of something special.

customer retention strategiesTreat Customers As Human Beings:  Treat your customers the way you want to be treated and the way that you believe they would want to be helped.  Treat them like real people, which might entail ditching scripts or certain company policies and treating them like human beings instead of sales figures.

Train Employees:  A vital part of your company is going to be your employees.  Be sure that they are aware to always give the best customer service and make the best products.  Train your employees to always deliver a quality item and to use quality service to keep customers coming back.

Offer Discounts:  Offer customers a discount if they, for instance, purchase several items, are returning customers, or pay cash up front.  This will keep them coming back to you.  Offer discounts on items that are more expensive or that customers might need to upgrade.

Reach out:  Customers like to feel in the loop of things, so start a newsletter or email club for returning customers.  As an incentive, provide a discount to anyone who signs up and offer them things such as exclusive coupons or discounts when you send out the newsletters or emails.

Two way street:  Keep in mind that if you want someone to be loyal to you then you are going to have to be loyal to them.  Customer retention works on a two way street.  Every business will have core and die-hard clients.  Acknowledge these clients that stick with you and do things to keep them happy at all costs.  Loyalty rewards loyalty.

Get Feedback:  A great and upfront way to figure out your customer’s wants and needs is simple to ask for feedback.  By communicating with your customers, you will be able to modify your sales techniques and marketing tactics to better meet their needs.

Make Your Customers Stay

Customers enjoy having relationships with the businesses or services that they are putting money in to.  When a customer sees you as a friend and ally, they will continue coming back for your services.  Ready to improve your business’s customer loyalty and experience?  Enroll in this useful and effective course on customer service and learn how to develop a loyal consumer fan base today.